The Leader of the Opposition, Bharrat Jagdeo yesterday singed the government over an instruction to the Police Service Commission not to consider promotions for members of the Guyana Police Force.
Constitutional commissions are not to be issued directives by the executive. There have been other instances where the APNU+AFC government has been accused of attempting to direct constitutional commissions.
The opposition PPP yesterday released a copy of a letter sent by Minister of State, Joseph Harmon to Marvalyn Stephens, the Secretary of the Police and Public Service Commissions wherein he wrote: “His Excellency, President David Granger has directed that there be no consideration of promotions for members of the Guyana Police Force by the Police Service Commission until further notice”.
In a statement issued yesterday, Jagdeo said:
“This is yet another vulgar and authoritarian attempt by the President to trample upon the independence and functional autonomy of a Constitutional Agency. The President and his Government continue, on a daily basis, to violate the rule of law, assault important democratic institutions and breach, in the most egregious fashion, the Constitution of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana.
“Article 226(1) of the Constitution clearly states : “In the exercise of its functions under the Constitution a Commission shall not be subject to the direction or control of any other person or authority”.
“The Police Service Commission is one of the Commissions to which Article 226(1) makes reference. By his directions, it is clear that the President Granger demonstrates absolute disrespect and disregard for the letter and spirit of the Constitution and therefore, continues to contravene its provisions with impunity…
“We urge the Police Service Commission not to succumb to these unconstitutional and unlawful directives but to continue to discharge its mandate in the manner provided for by the Constitution”.